Barrel of Monkeys students love to write about celebrities and pop culture icons - so we decided to bring you some of our favorite pop-culture-inspired stories in That’s Weird, Grandma: Star-Studded Stories. You won’t just see conventional stars in the show, though. We’re also featuring “BOM stars” - beloved characters that have become a staple in our repertoire.
Here are three BOM stars we’re excited to bring to the stage during this round of Grandma!
1. The Evil Horse
The Evil Horse (making their Grandma debut in this round!) comes to us from Isis at Poe Classical School. This horse hates “everything under the sun,” from donuts, to chicken wings, to having fun. Company member Rawson Vint turned Isis’s poem into a song - and now, The Evil Horse’s hatred of everything lives on in BOM infamy.
Hello little kiddies, little ponies, and fillies
I’m an evil horse you see.
I hate everything from donuts to chicken wings
Don’t put them in front of me.
2) Mrs. Rawson
Mrs. Rawson - a character created by the aforementioned Evil-Horse-song-writing Rawson - originated in the story “How To Get to School in a Fast/Safe Way” by Maggie, Mira, Branden, Sydney, and Javon from Lincolnwood Elementary. They wrote the tale during Persuasive Argument Day, a part of Barrel of Monkeys residencies when we ask students to argue for or against a specific stance.
These students argued that bosses should allow their employees to pick their kids up from school during the workday - and Mrs. Rawson illustrates why this would make the world a better place. When Mom needs to stay late at work, she calls her friend Mrs. Rawson to pick her kids up from school - but thanks to Mrs. Rawson’s not-so-wonderful driving skills, the kids end up in a wild car ride involving lots of swerving, speeding, and near-collisions.
We believe… work should let parents drive and pick up kids to schools. Rocket cars could make the drop off fasters. It is safer when parents drop kids off. Parents know where to go. Your parents get worried when they aren’t the ones. We need our parents!
3) The Man Who Farted
The Man Who Farted comes to us from Angel at Graves Elementary in Summit, IL. The Man has a problem with flatulence - and his diet filled with broccoli and tacos certainly doesn’t help. We turned his tribulations into a classical choir piece - and of course, added in some appropriate sound effects.
The Man was eating cereal then the man farted the man was eating broccoli the man farted again the man was eating tacos the man farted loud the end.
Join us for this Sunday’s opening performance of That’s Weird, Grandma: Star-Studded Stories for more BOM stars. The fun starts at 3pm at the Neo-Futurist Theater in Andersonville - get tickets ahead of time here.
We’re excited for That’s Weird, Grandma: Star-Studded Stories to begin this Sunday afternoon! This round of our public sketch show features some of our favorite stories BOM students have written about pop-culture icons, from Migos, to Prince, to Stranger Things characters.
We sat down with the director of this round, Mary Tilden (also BOM’s Education Coordinator) to talk about the stories she’s most excited about - as well as who her favorite star is! Take a look, then join us for the show Sundays at 3pm at The Neo-Futurist Theater now through February 17. We have half-price adult tickets at this Sunday’s preview performance - learn more here.
Our beloved holiday round of That’s Weird, Grandma is almost here!
That’s Weird Grandma Rings in the Holidays starts Monday, and we’re thrilled to bring some of our favorite seasonal stories by Chicago elementary school students to The Neo-Futurists Theater once again.
BOM Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd has curated a line-up both hilarious and heartwarming featuring Grandma classics as well as some new stories, such as a dialogue between Krampus and Santa from our Loyola Park After-School Program.
See a sneak-peek in our promo video below, and then be sure to join us between December 10 and December 22. Check out the full schedule and get your tickets here - they’re already selling fast, so be sure to grab yours now to avoid disappointment!
Our students love writing about zombies - in fact, they’re such a common character in the stories we adapt that zombie-related items are a normal part of our costume stock! So, when choosing stories for That’s Weird, Grandma: Ghosts, Ghouls and Talking Potatoes, we knew sketches about these beloved undead creatures were an inevitable part of our line-up.
Here are three that you’ll see when you join us for this Sunday’s closing performance.
1. Zombie Potion
Did you know that IHOP has a Potion Day? We didn’t either, but it’s an integral part of this story by Edwin from Peirce School of International Studies. A group of women decide to go to IHOP for Potion Day - but when they create a zombie potion that their husbands accidentally drink, they soon find themselves with zombie-husbands.
At Ihop Women made a zombie potion. Each women made one. They left the potion in the fridge. Their husbands thought it was something to drink and drank it. The husbands turned to zombies . . .
2. Zombie Story
Ethan from our Loyola Park After-School Program brings us a choose-your-own-adventure story that ends in the reader either escaping a zombie invasion, getting eaten by zombies, or escaping the zombies but being nuked by the military. To keep to the story’s original form, we adapted it into a game show complete with audience participation and two possible endings.
Which one will you see? It all depends on what you and your fellow audience members tell the contestants to do!
You find a strange man walking in an alley. Do you ... Talk to him? if so go to page 2. Walk away? If so go to page 3.
You talk to him. He moans and walks towards you. Do you… walk away? if so go to page 3. Stay there? if so go to pg 4 . . .
3. Malcolm X and the Zombie and Monster Infection
Malcolm R. from Dixon Elementary put a twist on history with this story. Malcolm X goes out one day to photograph the zombies and monsters taking over his city, but he ends up in a fight with the creatures. Don’t worry, though - he’s accompanied by his trusty sidekicks Gerald and Jayden as well as an awesome pair of brass knuckles.
There once was a man named Malcolm X. One day Malcolm was taking pictures and recording. There were a lot of zombies and mutated humans (monsters) in the city. Malcolm was not scared at all,not a bit. He was in the military and he went to the bottom of his building. He put on brass knuckles and started punching and fighting.
Sunday is your last chance to catch our cast’s best zombie impressions in this round of That’s Weird, Grandma! It’s our final performance until December, so be sure to get your tickets here.
Jasmine believes the original “Poltergeist” is spine-chilling.
“Silent Hill” is unnerving to Jen.
The original “The Omen” has haunted Jean for years.
Lev feels “Annabelle” is frightening.
And I still have nightmares about “An American Werewolf in London.”
Any of these give you the creeps?
If you want a Halloween experience that’s a bit more on the silly side, join us for That’s Weird, Grandma: Ghosts, Ghouls, and Talking Potatoes this Sunday at 3. And to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year, we’re throwing a special costume party this weekend only – kids 12 and under who wear a costume to the show get in for free!* We’ll see you at The Neo-Futurists Theater!
*Applies to walk-up sales for the Sunday, October 28 performance only. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Limit three free kids’ tickets per party.